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Islam Who are Sufies ?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Neutral Singh, Aug 17, 2004.

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  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    Who are Sufies ? Please tell us more about them.
     
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  3. Maize

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    Sufis are the mystical, or esoteric, branch of Islam. Many Sufi practitioners are organized into a very diverse range of brotherhoods and sisterhoods. Although many orders ("tariqas") can be classified as Shi'a or Sunni or even both, there are a few that are clearly not either Shiah or Sunni and so constitute a separate sphere of Islamic faith.

    Sufis believe that their teachings are the essence of every religion, and indeed of the evolution of humanity as a whole. The central concept in Sufism is "love". Dervishes -- the name given to initiates of sufi orders -- believe that love is a projection of the essence of God to the universe. God desires to recognize beauty, and as if one looks at a mirror to see oneself, God "looks" at itself within the dynamics of nature. Since everything is a reflection of God, the school of Sufism practices to see the beauty inside the apparently ugly, and to open arms even to the most evil one. This infinite tolerance is expressed in the most beautiful way, perhaps, by the famous Sufi philosopher and poet Mevlana (also known as Rumi) : "Come, come, whoever you are. Worshiper, Wanderer, Lover of Leaving; ours is not a caravan of despair. Though you have broken your vows a thousand times...Come, come again, Come."

    Suf is the Arabic word for "wool", in the sense of "cloak", referring to the simple cloaks the original Sufis wore. Given the Sufis use of composing letters of words to express hidden meanings, the word is simultaneously taken to mean 'occlusion' and 'enlightenment'. This reflects the fact that Sufism is at once a popular yet occult form of Islam. In fact the Greek terms Sofos /Sofia literally imply "wisdom" or "enlightenment" . Then there is the Arabic root in certain languages - 'Saaf' which literally means "pure," "clean," "blank."

    Sufis teach in personal groups, believing that the intervention of the master is necessary for the growth of the pupil. They make extensive use of parables and metaphors, in such a way that the meaning is only reachable through a process of seeking for the utmost truth and knowledge of oneself.

    Although philosophies vary between different Sufi sects, Sufism as a whole is primarily concerned with direct personal experience, and as such is often compared to Zen Buddhism and Gnosticism. The following metaphor, credited to an unknown Sufi scholar, helps describe this line of thought. "There are three ways of knowing a thing. Take for instance a flame. One can be told of the flame, one can see the flame with his own eyes, and finally one can reach out and be burned by it. In this way, we Sufis seek to be burned by God."

    A large part of Muslim literature comes from the Sufis, who created great books of poetry (which include for example 1001 Arabian Nights, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the Conference of the Birds and the Masnavi), all of which contain the profound, and hardly graspable, teachings of the Sufis.
     
  4. singhaj

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    Sufis are the mystical, or esoteric, branch of Islam. Many Sufi practitioners are organized into a very diverse range of brotherhoods and sisterhoods. Although many orders ("tariqas") can be classified as Shi'a or Sunni or even both, there are a few that are clearly not either Shiah or Sunni and so constitute a separate sphere of Islamic faith.
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    Post above me:

    When I usually hear of Islamic faith, to me it means that they are some how related to Prophet Mohammed and Koran. But according to your description there is nothing that says that they believe in Koran.

    aj
     
  5. Maize

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    Sufis do believe in and use the Koran.
     

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